Tajik foreign workers: Tajikistan is one of the most remittance-dependent nations in the world and Russia is the first destination for Tajik migrant workers. Tajik migrants were unable to travel to Russia since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, in March 2020, due to a travel ban that mostly continues in place. Therefore, during 2020 many settled in Tajikistan jobless, as the labor market in the country is frail and cannot give everyone jobs, even in healthier economic circumstances.
Also, thousands of Tajik labor migrants who were serving in Russia at the beginning of the springtime, at the beginning of the health emergency, lost their employment as a result of total blockades. After the pandemic, the Russian metropolis locked down and required isolation, which ultimately led to a contraction of activities in several economic sectors. These included trades, services, transport, and building in which many migrant laborers were contracted. That is why Tajik labor migrants were among the most exposed to the COVID-19 risks in 2020. They encountered some of the most severe traumas of the year.
Thousands of Tajik migrant workers who lost their job in Russia, and those who could not access the Russian territory due to anti-coronavirus restrictions, have produced serious loss to Tajikistan’s economic production. Tajikistan has owned remittances from migrants for more than twenty years. Money systems are one of the most crucial signs of Tajikistan’s economic review.
In 2019, the percentage of migrant orders from Russia alone was calculated to be over 30 percent of Tajikistan’s GDP, and in absolute terms, it is about $2.5 billion. From 2013 to 2018, official data shows that Tajik labor migrants sent more than $15 billion to their country through banks.
More than that, youth and middle-aged people in Tajikistan think that the only system to earn wages, support their family, and succeed in life is to run in Russia. People recognize how their families, acquaintances, and colleagues are able to make sufficient income overseas, purchase or construct their houses, buy cars, and other essentials. Transmittals are seen as a lifeline for disadvantaged Tajik groups.
Tajikistan is economically reliant on Russia and any economic crisis in the neighboring country continues to represent a crisis for Tajikistan, too. For the World Bank, the value of remittances for Tajikistan in 2013 was the equivalent of almost half of the country’s GDP. The health emergency for COVID-19 sent thousands of Tajik citizens back to their home country as remittances fell and it had a negative effect on Tajikistan’s economy. In April 2020, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon addressed a message to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in which he stated that the volume of remittances from Russia had decreased by 50 percent. He described the economic situation of Tajikistan as “adverse and stagnated,” asking for financial help.